SFMTA Board > February 6, 2007, minutes
2:00 ‑ REGULAR MEETING
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order
Chairman McCray called the meeting to order at 2:03 p.m.
Chairman McCray introduced Lorraine Fuqua who served as Secretary in the absence of Ms. Boomer.
2. Roll Call
Absent: Michael Kasolas – with notification
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
Chairman McCray announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting. He also advised that cell phones that are set on “vibrate” cause microphone interference and requested that they be placed in the “off” position.
4. Approval of Minutes
On motion to approve the minutes of the January 30, 2007 Special Meeting: unanimously approved (Kasolas-absent).
6. Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members
Director Nolan requested an update on the pull cords across the Senior and Disabled seats. Ken McDonald, Chief Operation Officer, stated that staff was taking care of it. He will provide a report to the Board.
7. Executive Director’s Report (For discussion only)
-Special Recognition Award
Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel Ford presented Special Recognition Awards to Ron Bell, Information Systems Engineer; Jerry Levine, Grant Administrator; Sam Chan; Rail Maintenance Machinist; and Larry Woods, Transit Operator from the Green Division. Chairman McCray expressed appreciation on behalf of the Board.
Exec. Director Ford introduced Debra Johnson as the MTA’s Chief of Staff and Director of External Affairs. Ms. Johnson joins the Agency from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Mr. Ford announced a positive rating for the Central Subway project in the Federal Transit Administration’s Annual New Starts Report. The project received an overall “medium” rating and a “medium-high” project justification rating.
Mr. Ford stated that the MTA was continuing to work with BART regarding the Senior/Disabled Fast Pass program. Staff stated that they are close to a solution that will be presented to the Board at the next meeting.
Gregg Wilcox, Acting Deputy Director, Transportation Development, presented a status report on the Third Street contracts.
8. Citizen’s Advisory Council Report
Daniel Murphy, Chairman, CAC presented the report. The CAC will work with staff to make recommendations regarding service standards. The CAC recommends that the MTA work with MTC to preserve the availability of the “NextMuni” arrival times on the 511 telephone service. The CAC made several recommendations regarding the FY08 budget.
9. Public Comment
Bob Planthold stated that Senior Action Network conducted an informal survey regarding parking meter revenue. Of the 98 cars parked at meters in an 8-block area south of Market, only 47 showed paid time. 26 were unpaid and were unticketed. There is a problem with enforcement. Since the 1980’s, state law has authorized the disabled to be specially deputized to enforce parking access violations. You’re missing revenue from violations around City Hall.
Barry Taranto suggested that every PCO should be given a rose for the work they do. There’s a seat up on the MTA Board of Directors. The nominee looks qualified for the position. Enforcement is lax. PCO’s don’t respond quickly to phone calls. We don’t want to hurt business but we want to move traffic and keep Muni moving. Taxi cabs are trying to do their job but are getting ticketed. The bike lane on Market at Octavia should be moved over and a right turn onto the Central Freeway should be allowed.
Roger Bazeley discussed San Francisco’s parking pricing fee structure. Parking pricing cannot be arbitrarily hiked or supply tightened by increasing un-used yellow commercial zones. San Francisco has a fragmented non-marketing approach to parking needs that is pushed by well meaning environmental groups. Parking user fees need to be approached with a neutral, non-political agenda with a city-wide analysis of economic impact to commercial businesses and residents. San Francisco should allow self-contained, fee-based off street parking structures.
Bruce Oka stated that the paratransit debit card has been on hold for a while. He would like to know where we stand and when a decision would be made regarding what to do. The taxi industry no longer supports the current project and they are ready to sue the city. It’s time to make a decision. The best decision would be to rebid the project. Please let us know when this issue will be resolved.
THE FOLLOWING MATTERS BEFORE THE MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY BOARD OR PARKING AUTHORITY ARE RECOMMENDED FOR ACTION AS STATED BY THE MTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO, PARKING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR, OR CITY ATTORNEY WHERE APPLICABLE. EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS FOR ALL CALENDAR ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW AT 1 SOUTH VAN NESS AVE. 7th FLOOR.
10. All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Municipal Transportation Agency Board or Parking Authority Commission, and will be acted upon by a single vote. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board/Commission or the public so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item.
(10.1) Requesting the Controller to allot funds and to draw warrants against such funds available or will be available in payment of the following claims against the MTA:
(10.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:
Item 10.2 D was severed at the request of a member of the public.
Barry Taranto stated that he loved all the proposals but it needs to be clarified that the transit lane is for buses and taxis only.
On motion to approve item 10.2 D:
ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, McCray, Mezey, Nolan and Shahum
ABSENT - Kasolas
On motion to approve the Consent Calendar (Item 10.2 D severed):
ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, McCray, Mezey, Nolan and Shahum
ABSENT - Kasolas
11. Public hearing on proposed changes to Department of Parking And Traffic, Parking Authority and Municipal Railway Rates, Charges, Fees, Fares and Fines. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Sonali Bose)
Chairman McCray requested that Item 12 be called before Item 11.
Exec. Director Ford stated that the fee for postage and handling, street sweeping citations, the proposal to raise all citations by $5, and the increase in Zone 3 parking meters will not be part of the FY08 budget. This hearing is related to parking garage rate increase and certain monthly parking rates in those garages and increasing the rent of cable cars and historic vehicles.
Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer, presented the staff report.
Linda Mjellem, Executive Director, Union Square Association, requested that the Board keep in mind the importance of the retail sector. Union Square is the pre-eminent shopping area in the city but other cities have developed shopping, dining and entertainment centers that offer a competitive experience. In setting parking garage rates, please don’t drive business out of the city. We have participated in rate increases in four out of the last five budgets.
Russell Keil, President, Ellis-O’Farrell Garage Corporation, stated that San Francisco got into the garage business in the greater Union Square area defensively rather than to make money. The threat was suburban shopping centers. The city decided to look at affordable parking as a means to bring people downtown. Muni is a service that is integral to downtown. City garages are fulfilling an important historic function of economic development.
Heather Hoell, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Alliance stated that the proposed increases to the Fifth and Mission Garage are between 20 and 30%. Affordable and available parking is a necessity. The cost of parking in the Yerba Buena area is prohibitive and is a barrier to attending events. A hike in the parking rate at the garage will be disastrous.
Steph Feiring stated there shouldn’t be a fare increase. A lot of people cheat on the fare. Operators don’t remove the top of the transfer. Operators should stop people from boarding through the back door. Fare boxes aren’t working and should be fixed.
Norm Rolfe referred to his previous remarks regarding revenue sources. Put the parking fines and Zone 3 meter rate increases and hours on the table for consideration.
Roger Bazeley stated that the gaps between performance and efficiency needed to be closed. The MTA needs to focus more on the enforcement of safety issues. It’s easier to take classes at San Jose State than at the downtown City College campus. Extending meters to 7:00 p.m. is reasonable.
David Pilpel asked about the increase in fee for the tow contractor. Cost recovery for the MTA makes sense but doesn’t understand why the agency is passing additional revenue to the tow contractor. Mr. Pilpel expressed interest in seeing the cost analysis or the explanatory detail for the revenue projections. Regarding charter rates, that if a vehicle requires two operators, that the rates be adjusted to account for the increased cost. The whole point with parking is not to just achieve the revenue goals but to manage local demand and maximize the use of those resources.
Director Din requested additional information regarding the parking garage increases.
12. Discussion of various proposals for the FY08 MTA Budget and possible action to direct staff to include certain proposals in the FY08 budget. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Sonali Bose)
Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer, presented the FY08 budget. Exec. Director Ford stated that the FY08 budget will not include any fee or fare increase.
Bob Planthold stated that a contract between BART and Muni for senior/disabled fast passes is going to cost some money. That cost will have to be addressed. The revenue from improved enforcement isn’t documented and is a glib assumption. Where and how is this going to happen?
Why is paratransit revenue going down by $500,000? Don’t hesitate to raise Parking Authority garages and meters to market rates. Look at selective enforcement rates that affect transit.
David Pilpel stated that he appreciated the level of detail in the budget book. Mr. Pilpel requested a schedule and narrative for positions that were moving from division to division and for new positions. He also requested narrative for the revenue pieces. The MTA should increase the number of Parking Control Officers and hire part-time operators.
Barry Taranto stated that it’s atrocious that there are only 15 PCO’s in a class. At a recent meeting it was reported that there were 93 vacancies and now its 54 vacancies. What happened to the other vacancies? We don’t want to look at the city just trying to collect money for the budget. The city needs to look at traffic congestion and promoting commerce. Focus on enforcement around rush hours. The MTA should promote the BART/Muni relationship. Make the fine for taxi zones equal to white zones. Lift vans are far more expensive to take by the disabled community. Encourage them to use taxis.
Irwin Lum, President, TWU, Local-250A, stated that the fare collection booths at the cable car turnaround need to be opened by 7:00 a.m. because the tourists are lining up by that time. Mr. Lum requested information on the status of local review for proof of payment violations.
Norman Rolfe stated that Muni fares should be kept the same or reduced if possible. Don’t charge for transfers. Garage rates could be raised higher and still be competitive with the private sector. Parking meter rates in Zone 3 should go to $2.00 per hour and hours should be extended to 9:00 p.m. Stores and restaurants are open after 6:00 p.m. Fill PCO vacancies. Restaurant owners should give a discount to diners who use public transportation.
Chairman McCray requested that the Board discuss parking garage market rates and the impact of changing rates in March.
The Board returned to Item 11.
13. Presentation and discussion of the 2004 Prop. E Quality Review. (Discussion only. Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Deb Denison)
Bonnie Nelson, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard presented the report.
David Pilpel expressed support for Ms. Nelson’s recommendations and is pleased to hear that staff was implementing them. The information should not have taken this long to get to the Board. Hopefully the FY06 data will come to the Board in less than two years.
Roger Bazeley expressed concern that DPW is an integral part of and a considerable factor in the MTA’s efficiency. The infrastructure impacts on-time performance. Safety and lighting at bus shelters around schools is a concern.
Rafael Cabrera, TWU, Local 250-A, expressed concern about changing the measurements. The MTA is supposed to provide service throughout the city. What happens to the people when you change service?
Norman Rolfe stated that he was disturbed to see that Cable Cars were separated out. It increases the idea that cable cars aren’t part of Muni but are an amusement park ride. They are street cars and should be treated as part of Muni.
14. Approving the MTA’s 2007 Legislative Program. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.) (Diana Hammons)
Director Shahum requested that staff consider additional legislation enabling enforcement cameras on street sweepers and on buses; legislation that empowers PCO’s to cite moving violations; and expanding the “No Right Turn on Red” camera enforcement.
Director Mezey requested that staff also analyze changing state law to charge people who use disabled placards at meters.
Exec. Director Ford stated that staff would do a policy analysis on those items.
No public comment.
On motion to approve:
ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, McCray, Mezey, Nolan and Shahum
ABSENT – Kasolas
ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.
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